LONDON — British Heavyweight Champion Joe Joyce lost to the interim heavyweight Champion from China, Zhilei Zhang in a rematch at the OVO Arena in London on Saturday night through a knockout in the third round.
“Joyce once again struggled against the power of ‘Big Bang’ Zhang before a thunderous counter right hook floored the Londoner at Wembley’s OVO Arena,” said BBC sports.
Zhang broke Joyce’s unbeaten record with a sixth round stoppage in April, and he was returning to London for a rematch with the hope of retaining the WBO ‘interim’ title.
“I believe I will get victory in this fight. I reckon I can stop him if I hit him with the right shots,” said Joyce before the fight.
In the third round just before the knockout, the 38-year-old admirably rose to his feet but was in no state to continue. Moments after the referee waved off the contest, Joyce sat on his stool receiving oxygen.
“The result comes five months after 40-year-old Zhang’s shock sixth-round stoppage win over the previously undefeated Joyce,” said the BBC sports.
“I’m happy. Like I said before the fight, it’s going to end sooner than the first one. Joe, I like him, I respect him and I will let everyone witness Chinese power again,” said Zhang to TNT sports after the knock out win over Joe Joyce.
“This is what we’re here for, we’re professional fighters. We came to entertain the crowd and we did it. I hope everyone enjoyed my performance. Thank you to everyone who came here today and witnessed my greatness in front of Chinese social media,” added Zhang.
Zhang retains the WBO ‘interim’ title and mandatory challenger status to unified world champion Oleksandr Usyk according to media reports
The rematch with WBO interim heavyweight champion Zhilei Zhang took place on Saturday, September 23 at London’s OVO Arena Wembley.
Edited by Virginia Van Zandt and Newsdesk Manager